SHORTAGE OF VOCATIONS TO THE CATHOLIC PRIESTHOOD
Sir, - The pastoral letter issued last weekend in the Galway Diocese, as reported by Lorna Siggins, bemuses me.
Many people believe there is no shortage of vocations to the ordained priesthood, just a shortage of vocations to a male, celibate priesthood. The "men only" and "celibate men only" rules are man-made and could be changed. Take them away and the crisis would at the least lessen.
The argument that the ordination of women is not up for discussion is a nonsense. Who can tell another adult what he or she may or may not discuss? Among those who still care, it is constantly under discussion.
Your correspondent also reports that in his letter the bishop expresses the hope that both clergy and laity will co-operate in carrying out the new arrangements. By definition co-operation is a two-way thing. As a means of co-operating with those clergy and laity who fully believe that the rules for acceptance for ordination must change, what is to prevent a group of bishops exercising their collegial powers and going to Rome to demand that the matter be discussed?
Only they can do so, since only they have an entrée. - Yours, etc.,
BETTY MAHER, Vernon Grove, Dublin 6.